recommendations for laptop and desktop

Kevin Oberman kob6558 at
Mon Jul 18 22:18:35 UTC 2011

On Mon, Jul 18, 2011 at 7:02 AM, Tom Evans < at> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 9:44 PM, Jim Bryant <kc5vdj.freebsd at> wrote:
>> stay away from newer hp laptops.
> HP also like to lock-down which wifi cards you can use from BIOS - the
> machines won't complete POST with a 'bad' wifi card, so that's another
> strike as far as I am concerned.
> I've never had problems from modern dell laptops with nvidia graphics.
> I'm typing this on a Dell Latitude E6410 - Core i5, iwn wifi, em lan,
> nvidia graphics, webcam supported by webcamd...

I have a new Lenovo T520 which locks down the WiFi. How rude!! I even
tried installing am Intel 6502, a card Lenovo sells with that system,
but I still get the 104-unknown wireless card" message.

I'm to the point where I am thinking of patching the whitelist in
BIOS, but Lenovo's BIOS update is shipped as a CD image (.iso) and
contains a single bootable file, [BOOT]. I know trat, if I screw it
up, I have a dead MOBO, so it makes me more than a little nervous.

I would assume that Lenovo ships its own version of the 6205 with a
different PCI ID, but I have failed to find it on their web site. This
leaves me tied to the wired GE port. :-(

As far as nVidia graphics goes, beware the new nVidia daughter cards
shipping with second gen Core i processors (a.k.a. Sandy Bridge).
These processors include an integrated Intel GPU (Intel 3000) and
nVidia is shipping "Optimus" versions of their GPUs which use the
Intel GPU as the frame buffer and for some other (unspecified)
functions. There is no xorg support and nVidia has stated very clearly
that they have no plans to ever support Optimus cards for any OS but

Since the Optimus versions share the model number of standalone
graphics cards with the addition of "Optimus", it's easy to get one of
these useless things by accident. I would have if I hadn't been warned
at the last minute.
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer - Retired
E-mail: kob6558 at

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